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Hollow Knight Bosses (& How To Defeat Them)

Hollow Knight Bosses
Contents

So you want a comprehensive list of all the Hollow Knight Bosses and how to beat them? Well, you came to the right place because we have exactly what you are looking for. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Base Game Bosses

22 unique bosses exist in the Hollow Knight base game. Each boss is unique and has rich lore that you could dive deep into. In this section, we will briefly explain the boss’s lore (while keeping it as spoiler-free as possible) and then move on to strategies you could use to defeat the boss.

Remember that Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania game at heart, and backtracking will be rewarding. In some cases, it is necessary, so we will give you recommended charms but not complete builds.

Gruz Mother

Gruz Mother

Gruz Mother, a formidable foe in Hollow Knight, possesses distinct attack patterns that require a strategic approach for victory. Her primary move is a rolling charge, covering a wide area and inflicting substantial damage. Additionally, she periodically spawns smaller Gruzzers, adding to the challenge.

To defeat Gruz Mother, understanding and countering these attacks is essential.

When confronted with the rolling charge, it is crucial to stay near the edges of the arena. Maneuver by either jumping over or dashing through the rolling attacks to avoid taking damage. 

As for the spawned Gruzzers, swift elimination is paramount to prevent being overwhelmed. Utilize Nail Arts or spells like Vengeful Spirit to efficiently clear groups of Gruzzers, ensuring you maintain control of the battle. This is assuming you will also face her during your time in Godhome.

False Knight / Failed Champion

False Knight

The False Knight has distinctive attack patterns that can be countered effectively. Its primary move involves slamming its weapon onto the ground, creating shockwaves. Additionally, it performs a charging attack across the arena, attempting to collide with the player.

When the False Knight raises its weapon, move away to avoid the shockwaves. Return quickly to land hits during the recovery phase. Keep a safe distance during charging attacks and dash or jump over the False Knight to evade potential damage.

The Failed Champion exhibits more aggressive and challenging attacks. The Failed Champion’s ground pound creates shockwaves, covering a wide area. Jump over or dash through the shockwaves to avoid damage. 

The Failed Champion rolls across the arena, attempting to crush the player. Stay on the move and time your jumps or dashes to evade these rolling assaults. After certain attacks, the Failed Champion produces shockwaves. Be prepared to dodge or jump over these waves to minimize damage.

Hornet (Protector/Sentinel)

Hornet

Hornet, in her Protector form, employs needle throws and lunge attacks. To counter the needle throws, utilize quick dashes or jumps to evade the projectiles. When facing lunge attacks, close the gap swiftly to capitalize on openings and be prepared to dodge her follow-up strikes.

As you face Hornet in her Sentinel form much later in the game, her combat style becomes more intricate and challenging. The Sentinel form introduces thread attacks, creating intricate patterns. Stay alert and time your movements to weave through the threads unscathed. 

Expect more aerial assaults, requiring precise jumps and dashes to avoid strikes from above. After certain attacks, Hornet may counter swiftly and unexpectedly, demanding quick reactions and adaptability.

Also Read: Hollow Knight Hornet: Lore, Fights & More

Broken Vessel / Lost Kin

Broken Vessel

Broken Vessel demands a strategic approach to overcome its relentless onslaught. The Broken Vessel’s ground slams create shockwaves, requiring you to jump over or dash through to avoid damage. Additionally, be prepared for sudden leaps toward the player and time your dashes to evade the creature’s airborne assaults.

As you face Lost Kin later in the game, its attacks become more erratic and challenging. The Lost Kin executes quick double slashes, demanding swift dashes or well-timed jumps to avoid being hit. Watch out for bursts of infected soul energy, maneuvering through the projectiles with precise dashes or jumps. 

The Lost Kin also introduces more aggressive aerial attacks, requiring careful timing to avoid strikes while maintaining a safe distance.

Related Guide: How To Defeat the Broken Vessel in Hollow Knight

Brooding Mawlek

Brooding Mawlek

The Brooding Mawlek spits acidic projectiles in a forward arc, requiring vigilance and precise movements to avoid getting hit. When the creature lunges with charging attacks, be prepared to dash or jump away to evade the impending threat.

In close quarters, the Brooding Mawlek employs swinging attacks; maintaining a safe distance and timing your movements is crucial to avoid being struck. It is one of the easier Hollow Knight Bosses on this list and for good reason.

Crystal Guardian / Enraged Guardian

Crystal Guardian

The Crystal Guardian employs energy blasts in quick succession, demanding precise movements with well-timed dashes or jumps to evade these projectiles effectively. 

Additionally, be wary of the sweeping laser attack covering a portion of the arena; staying on the move and finding safe spots is crucial to avoiding the laser’s damaging path.

As you face the Enraged Guardian a little after defeating the Crystal Guardian, its attacks become more aggressive. Swift charge attacks demand readiness to dash away or jump over the charging creature to avoid taking damage. 

The Enraged Guardian also unleashes area-of-effect blasts, creating shockwaves. Time your movements carefully to avoid being caught in the damaging radius while maintaining a strategic position.

Dung Defender / White Defender

Dung Defender

The Dung Defender hurls dung balls in an arcing motion, requiring precise movements to avoid getting hit. Additionally, be vigilant during his ground pounds, swiftly jumping or dashing away to evade the shockwaves and minimize damage.

As you fight White Defender after defeating Dung Defender, his attacks become more refined. He employs extended nail strikes with a wider range, necessitating players to maintain a safe distance and time their movements to avoid these attacks.

The White Defender also releases spores in the area, creating hazardous zones; continuous movement is crucial to avoiding the lingering effects and maintaining control of the battlefield.

A good tip for both versions of this fight is that if you have the Desolate Dive ability, you can force Dung Defender/White Defender above ground in a stunned state when Dung Defender/White Defender goes underground.

The Collector

The Collector

The Collector’s primary threat lies in summoning a variety of minions throughout the battle. To effectively counter this, focus on eliminating these minions quickly, reducing the overall threat, and preventing the battle from becoming overwhelming.

The Collector himself engages with jumping lunges that possess significant reach. Time your dashes or jumps precisely to evade these lunges and avoid taking damage. 

Additionally, be wary of homing projectiles released by The Collector and maneuver carefully to avoid getting hit, maintaining control of the battlefield.

Another useful tip for this fight would be to have your Nail upgraded to at least level 3 since you will be able to one-hit-kill the enemies The Collector spawns.

Flukemarm

Flukemarm

Flukemarm constantly spawns smaller Flukes that fill the arena, presenting a persistent threat. To counter this, prioritize eliminating these smaller enemies swiftly, reducing the overall threat and creating openings for your attacks.

Flukemarm’s primary offensive capability involves projectile spit, releasing harmful projectiles across the arena. To avoid taking damage, maintain a safe distance from Flukemarm and be prepared to dodge or jump over the projectiles.

One of the more annoying Hollow Knight Bosses and another tip is that you can cast Howling Wraiths/Abyss Shriek to instantly end the fight with 3-4 casts if you do not want to deal with the constant enemy spawns.

Mantis Lords

Mantis Lords

The Mantis Lords execute swift and precise sword swings, demanding a keen understanding of their timing and attack patterns to effectively dodge or counter. 

Additionally, be prepared to dash or jump over the boomerang-like blades they throw across the arena to avoid getting hit.

A key element of their offensive strategy is the synchronized spin attacks, covering a wide area. Time your movements carefully to navigate through the spinning blades unscathed. 

To defeat the Mantis Lords, it’s crucial to master the rhythm of their attacks, recognize the patterns, and respond with well-timed dodges and jumps.

Traitor Lord

Traitor Lord

The Traitor Lord’s ground slams create shockwaves, necessitating precise movements to jump over or dash through these shockwaves and avoid taking damage.

Engaging in a swift triple slash combo, the Traitor Lord covers a significant area. Time your movements to evade or dash through the slashes, minimizing the potential damage from this lethal combo.

Additionally, the Traitor Lord releases homing projectiles that track the player. Maneuver carefully to avoid these homing attacks, maintaining control of the battlefield. The Traitor Lord also employs a roaring charge across the arena, unleashing a mighty roar. 

Be prepared to dash away or jump over the charging creature to evade potential damage during this charging assault.

Soul Warrior

Soul Warrior

The Soul Warrior employs homing projectiles, requiring active movement to avoid these attacks and maintain control of the battlefield. Additionally, the creature utilizes teleportation, swiftly shifting around the arena. Keep a vigilant eye on its movements and be prepared for sudden strikes.

Engaging in melee swings at close range, the Soul Warrior poses a threat in direct combat. Time your movements carefully to effectively evade or counter these swings. 

To defeat the Soul Warrior, it’s crucial to remain agile and responsive, as its attacks are fast and can catch the unprepared off guard.

Soul Master / Soul Tyrant

Soul Master

The only difference between these versions is the speed at which they attack. Both versions employ rapid teleportation and dash maneuvers, covering various parts of the arena quickly. To counter, stay attentive to their movements and anticipate their repositioning.

A significant threat arises from the barrage of homing projectiles unleashed by the Soul Master and Soul Tyrant. Move actively to avoid these projectiles and maintain control of the battlefield. After teleporting, both bosses execute a powerful slashing attack. Time your movements to evade or dash through this strike effectively.

The Soul Master and Soul Tyrant also perform aerial dives, covering a significant area. Be prepared to dash away or find safe spots to avoid taking damage during these attacks. To defeat them, it’s crucial to remain agile and responsive, as their attacks are swift and can catch the unprepared off guard.

Vengefly King

Vengefly King

The Vengefly King executes dive bomb attacks, swiftly targeting the player’s position. To counter, be prepared to dash away or reposition quickly, avoiding the swooping assaults that can catch the unprepared off guard.

At a distance, the Vengefly King unleashes projectiles, creating challenging patterns. Move actively to avoid these projectiles and maintain control of the battlefield. Additionally, the Vengefly King summons swarms of smaller Vengeflies to attack the player. 

Prioritize eliminating these smaller enemies swiftly to reduce the overall threat and create openings for attacks. This is in regards to his appearance in Godhome so this applies more so there than in the base game.

Watcher Knight

Watcher Knight

The Watcher Knights perform rolling attacks across the arena, creating a constant threat. To counter, time your dashes carefully to evade these rolling assaults and avoid taking damage.

Another challenging attack involves the Watcher Knights launching bouncing balls that create a complex pattern. Jumping over or dashing through these bouncing balls is essential to avoid being hit. 

The Watcher Knights further intensify the battle by synchronizing their attacks, making it challenging to find openings. Maintain awareness of their patterns and be prepared to dodge or dash through multiple assaults simultaneously.

Uumuu

Uumuu

Uumuu releases electric discharges that electrify the water in the arena, demanding precise movements to avoid the electrified areas and prevent taking damage. During the battle, Uumuu summons explosive jellyfish that pose a significant threat. 

Prioritize eliminating these jellyfish quickly to reduce the overall danger in the arena. Uumuu becomes vulnerable during certain phases of the battle, allowing the player to deal damage. To maximize damage output, utilize ranged attacks or spells during these moments.

Overall, it is one of the most boring Hollow Knight Bosses in the entire game since it makes you wait for Quirrel to attack and then land your attack. This fight is much better in Godhome but is still very, very boring.

Nosk / Winged Nosk

Nosk

Nosk mimics the appearance of the Knight upon their first meeting but turns into a spider-like monstrosity upon beginning the battle.

Nosk performs projectile attacks that cover a significant distance, posing a threat to the player. Time your movements carefully to evade these projectiles and avoid taking damage. 

Additionally, Nosk utilizes the tactic of dropping from the ceiling to surprise the player. Keep a close eye on its movements and be prepared to dodge or move away quickly to avoid getting hit during these surprise attacks.

A tip for the projectile attack is that if you stand at the very lip of the arena’s elevated floor, then his dash attack will miss you on its first run-through, allowing you time to reposition and do some damage.

Related Guide: How To Find and Defeat Nosk In Hollow Knight

God Tamer

God Tamer

God Tamer’s loyal beast charges swiftly across the arena, demanding precise timing in your movements to evade these charges and avoid taking damage. Be attentive to God Tamer’s lance strikes, covering a wide area; maintain a safe distance and be prepared to dodge or dash through these attacks to minimize damage.

God Tamer adds complexity to the battle by summoning spiked obstacles that emerge from the ground. Navigate the arena carefully to avoid these spikes, ensuring you maintain control and positioning to counter the duo effectively.

Another tip is that you can only focus on the beast since once the beast is defeated, the God Tamer will stop fighting, which will grant you victory.

Grey Prince Zote

Grey Prince Zote

Zote delivers wild and unpredictable swings with his Nail, making precise timing essential to evade these swings and avoid taking damage.

Additionally, Zote performs leap attacks covering a significant distance. To counter, be prepared to dash away or find an opening to retaliate when he executes these airborne assaults. 

Another challenge comes in the form of Grey Prince Zote belching out damaging projectiles. Maintain a safe distance and be prepared to dodge or jump over these projectiles to avoid taking damage.

Related Guide: Should You Save Zote In Hollow Knight?

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

The Hollow Knight delivers swift and relentless nail strikes, demanding precise timing in your movements to evade these strikes and avoid taking damage. 

Additionally, the Hollow Knight releases bursts of infection, creating damaging shockwaves. Actively move to avoid these shockwaves and maintain control of the battlefield, keeping a vigilant eye on the shifting patterns.

As the battle progresses, the Hollow Knight enters a desperation phase, intensifying its attacks. During this critical stage, stay vigilant and adapt to the increased aggression, maintaining a balance between offense and defense.

Radiance

Radiance

The Radiance releases beams of intense light, creating a wide coverage. To navigate this difficult assault, time your movements carefully between the beams, avoiding damage. Alongside this, the ground where you are fighting periodically releases spikes, and most of the time, these two attacks are used in tandem with one another.

As the battle progresses, transitions into platforming sections demand precise navigation of floating platforms while avoiding projectiles. Keep a keen eye on the Radiance’s attacks and time your movements precisely to traverse this challenging phase.

The Radiance launches barrages of projectiles that home in on the player, demanding constant movement to avoid being hit. Maintain control of the battlefield by actively dodging these projectiles. 

Additionally, the Radiance executes sweeping sword swings, creating a challenging pattern. Time your movements with well-timed dashes or jumps to evade these sweeping attacks and minimize damage. 

One of the toughest Hollow Knight Bosses you will face because of the speed, tenacity, and relentlessness in the Radiance’s attacks.

Dream Warrior Bosses

So, Dream Warrior Bosses are kind of different from normal bosses. They are mainly defeated to gain access to the Essence they hold in order to get higher tiers for your Dream Nail.

Don’t be fooled, though, since these fights are just as tough as any other boss you might encounter. Each of them is unique and has an entirely distinct movement. 

Something interesting to note is that these dream bosses were named/designed by the biggest backers of the Hollow Knight Kickstarter campaign.

Gorb

Gorb

Gorb releases floating orbs that home in on the player, demanding constant movement to avoid these orbs and maintain control of the battlefield. Additionally, Gorb launches a barrage of projectiles at the player. To counter, time your movements to effectively dodge or jump over these projectiles and minimize damage.

Gorb adds complexity to the battle by employing rapid teleportation, making it challenging to predict its movements. To stay ahead, keep a keen eye on Gorb’s location and be prepared for sudden attacks.

No Eyes

No Eyes

No Eyes summons spectral entities that move in predetermined patterns, demanding careful observation of their movements to find safe spaces and avoid taking damage. Additionally, No Eyes releases wave-like attacks across the arena, necessitating precise timing in your movements to evade these waves and minimize damage.

It is pretty similar to the Uumuu fight, where it turns into a waiting game, but in this case, it is hide-and-seek since you have limited vision. Another one of the Hollow Knight Bosses that is not tough but rather annoying.

Elder Hu

Elder Hu

Elder Hu drops rings on you by summoning them, creating a challenging pattern on the battlefield. To navigate this, time your movements carefully to avoid the smashing rings and maintain control of the fight. 

Additionally, when Elder Hu extends his smashing rings to cover the entire arena, you must swiftly move to a safe distance to avoid taking damage.

Elder Hu introduces another challenge with a surprising charge attack. When he charges towards the player with unexpected speed, be prepared to dash away or find an opening to counter, avoiding the impact. 

Xero

Xero

Xero swiftly dashes across the arena, covering a significant distance with rapid movements. To evade these dash strikes and avoid taking damage, time your movements carefully. Additionally, Xero throws projectiles in a boomerang-like pattern, requiring a vigilant eye to track the trajectory.

Be prepared to dash or jump over these returning projectiles to minimize damage. Xero adds complexity to the battle by employing rapid teleportation, making it challenging to predict his movements. To stay ahead, keep a keen eye on Xero’s location and be prepared for sudden attacks. 

Marmu

Marmu

Marmu bounces around the arena, charging towards the player with speed. To avoid these bouncing charges and minimize damage, time your movements carefully. Additionally, Marmu periodically spawns damaging projectiles as it moves.

Keep a vigilant eye on its position to anticipate these spawns and position yourself accordingly, avoiding unnecessary damage.

Galien

Galien

Galien delivers powerful sword strikes with a broad range, demanding precise timing in your movements to evade these strikes and avoid taking substantial damage. 

Additionally, Galien performs a spinning blade dash across the arena, requiring you to be prepared to dash away or find an opening to counter when he executes this charging assault. Galien introduces another challenge by throwing boomerang-like projectiles in a circular pattern. 

To counter this, keep a vigilant eye on the trajectory and be prepared to dash or jump over these returning projectiles to minimize damage.

Markoth

Markoth

Markoth hovers above the arena, shielded by a protective barrier. To capitalize on openings and strike without risking damage, wait for opportune moments between his attacks. 

Additionally, Markoth throws lances in a spinning pattern around the arena. Anticipate the trajectory of these projectile attacks and position yourself accordingly to avoid getting hit. Markoth adds complexity to the battle by summoning descending spikes from above. 

Maintain constant awareness of the spike locations and time your movements carefully to evade these falling hazards.

Grimm Troupe DLC Bosses

The Grimm Troupe DLC gave us not as many bosses but rather an abundance of charms, in-depth lore about what lies outside of Hallownest, and one fo the best Hollow Knight Bosses ever created.

For a more in-depth guide on how to beat Grimm / Nightmare King Grimm, then check out our guide here.

Grimm / Nightmare King Grimm

Grimm

Grimm summons swarms of bats that traverse the arena in various patterns. To avoid taking damage from these swift projectiles, maneuver carefully and find safe spaces between the bat swarms.

Grimm executes rapid dash attacks, covering a significant distance with quick and unpredictable strikes. Time your movements precisely to dodge these dashes and avoid getting hit by his relentless assault. 

Additionally, Nightmare King Grimm summons pillars of flames that emerge from the ground. Maintain constant awareness of the flame locations and time your movements to avoid taking damage from these fiery hazards.

Godmaster DLC Bosses

The Godmaster DLC gave some of the most challenging and prestigious markers in all of Hollow Knight, Pantheon V. The challenge was completed only by less than 5% of the player base while also introducing us to some amazing bosses we knew we wanted to fight, but the main story never allowed for thematically.

Brothers Oro & Mato

Brothers Oro & Mato

Oro & Mato execute a synchronized double-slash combo with their blades. To avoid taking damage, time your movements precisely, employing dashes or jumps over their slashes.

The brothers release spinning blades that traverse the arena in varying patterns. Actively maneuver to find safe spaces and avoid getting hit by these projectile attacks. 

Additionally, Oro & Mato perform dive attacks with their blades aimed at the player’s position. Anticipate these dives and quickly relocate to evade their piercing strikes.

Paintmaster Sheo

Paintmaster Sheo

Sheo hurls paint splatter projectiles that cover the arena in colorful patterns. Actively maneuver to find safe spaces and avoid getting hit by these unpredictable attacks. 

Additionally, Sheo performs a combo of brush swipes, covering a significant area in front of him. Time your movements precisely to dash or jump over these swipes and avoid taking damage.

Great Nailsage Sly

Great Nailsage Sly

Sly performs a series of nail art combos with swift and precise strikes. To avoid taking damage, time your movements precisely, employing dashes or jumps over these combos.

Sly adds complexity to the battle with a quick dash followed by a spinning attack with his Nail. Be prepared to dash away or find an opening to counter when he executes this rapid assault. Additionally, Great Nailsage Sly throws projectile nails in a boomerang-like pattern. 

Keep a vigilant eye on the trajectory and be prepared to dash or jump over these returning projectiles to minimize damage.

Sisters of Battle

The Sisters unleash a barrage of homing projectiles that track the Knight, demanding active maneuvering to avoid these projectiles. Focus on precise jumps and dashes to evade their pursuit effectively.

The Sisters introduce a challenge with synchronized dash attacks covering a large portion of the arena. Time your movements carefully to find safe spots and avoid being caught in the crossfire of their deadly dashes. 

Additionally, the Sisters employ rapid teleportation, making it challenging to predict their movements. Keep a keen eye on their locations and be prepared for sudden attacks after they reappear.

This is one of the best Hollow Knight Bosses because of the rhythm of the fight. It might seem difficult and impossible during the first few attempts, but once the rhythm is understood, it is the most satisfying fight in the entirety of Hollow Knight.

Pure Vessel

Pure Vessel

The Pure Vessel executes a series of quick Nail slashes in succession. To avoid taking damage, time your movements precisely, employing dashes or jumps over these slashes.

Another challenge introduced by the Pure Vessel is the summoning of void tendrils that extend across the arena. Actively maneuver to find safe spaces and avoid getting hit by these elongated attacks. 

Additionally, the Pure Vessel performs a focus dash, covering a significant distance quickly. Be prepared to dash away or find an opening to counter when it executes this rapid assault.

The Pure Vessel releases explosive orbs that linger in the air before detonating. Anticipate the orb placements and time your movements to avoid taking damage from the ensuing explosions. 

Absolute Radiance

Absolute Radience

The Absolute Radiance summons radiant spears from the sky and releases sweeping beams across the arena. Actively maneuver to find safe spaces and avoid getting hit by these deadly projectiles.

Another challenge presented by the Absolute Radiance is a series of sword strikes performed in quick succession. To avoid taking damage, time your movements precisely, employing dashes or jumps over these strikes. 

Additionally, the Absolute Radiance releases explosive orbs that linger in the air before detonating. Anticipate the orb placements and time your movements to avoid taking damage from the ensuing explosions.

Throughout the battle, be aware of periodic platform collapses. Maintain awareness of the platform status and adjust your positioning to avoid falling and taking damage.

Conclusion

Hollow Knight offers a diverse array of challenging bosses, each with unique lore and strategic nuances. From the formidable Gruz Mother to the relentless Absolute Radiance.

Whether facing the base game bosses, the Dream Warrior challenges, or the formidable foes introduced in the Grimm Troupe and Godmaster DLCs, perseverance and adaptability are key.

Each boss presents a distinct challenge, requiring precise timing, agile movements, and strategic thinking to overcome. Keep this thought in mind, and you should be fine.

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